Skip to main content

The Beijing Consensus is Neither: China as a Non-Ideological Challenge to International Norms

Buy Article:

$20.98 plus tax (Refund Policy)

This paper analyses the impact of a rising China on the international system, especially in terms of its effect on liberal democracy and human rights. It finds that, largely because of its unfamiliar non-ideological nature, the threat posed by China has sometimes been exaggerated and often misunderstood. The "Beijing Consensus" does not represent an ideologically coherent alternative to dominant international norms, and China makes no serious effort to promote the Chinese model as a template for other countries to follow. Domestically, the Chinese party-state may work to undermine democracy and fail to respect human rights. Internationally, however, China uses its soft power to pursue its interests, neither working actively for, or against, human rights and democracy. Because Beijing acts without regard for democracy and human rights, seeing its policy through the lens of these norms provides an unintelligible picture. The impact of China's growing influence is largely ambiguous, as China offers aid and support to democrats and despots alike and does not condition such assistance on a state's human rights record. An examination of data on Chinese and US overseas aid show that both go to approximately the same mix of free and unfree regimes. Further analysis shows that Chinese aid does not appear to have a significant impact on the state of political and civil freedoms in recipient countries. In conclusion, China's impact on international norms of liberal democracy and human rights is shown to be marginal precisely because China makes no effort to affect these norms.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-02-01

More about this publication?
  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Order hard copies of STAIR
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more